Journal Article

Sinking of a magnetically confined mountain on an accreting neutron star

K. Wette, M. Vigelius and A. Melatos

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 2, pages 1099-1110
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Sinking of a magnetically confined mountain on an accreting neutron star

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We perform ideal-magnetohydrodynamic axisymmetric simulations of magnetically confined mountains on an accreting neutron star, with masses ≲0.12 M. We consider two scenarios, in which the mountain sits atop a hard surface or sinks into a soft, fluid base. We find that the ellipticity of the star, due to a mountain grown on a hard surface, approaches ∼2 × 10−4 for accreted masses ≳1.2 × 10−3 M, and that sinking reduces the ellipticity by between 25 and 60 per cent. The consequences for gravitational radiation from low-mass X-ray binaries are discussed.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; stars: magnetic fields; stars: neutron; pulsars: general

Journal Article.  8467 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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